Wednesday, September 30, 2009

THE GOSPEL: WHAT IS IT?

The photos were taken by me in Tasmania.
The Gospel: What is it?

Gospel means “good news” which is as simple as it is profound. Is the Gospel of Jesus Christ the good news that belongs to Jesus Christ or is it that which is about Jesus Christ? The Gospel of Jesus Christ is both these things and is as simple as it is profound.

The bullseye of the Gospel is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. But this hub or central theme of Christian teaching is connected by many supporting spokes to a huge outer wheel. The Triune God, i.e., the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, is the eternal power that turns the Good News wheel in time.

The doing and dying of Jesus Christ was planned in the counsel of the Godhead in eternity past. The Gospel is the revelation of this eternal plan to fallen man. The good news of the grace of God in Jesus Christ is at the heart and soul of creation.
The Gospel is simply God’s covenant of redemption and grace by another name. The everlasting covenant of grace is the outward application of the eternal covenant of redemption. This covenant of grace was progressively revealed by God to men through His prophets until its revelation ended with the completion of the last book of the Bible.

The Bible reveals the holy nature and righteous character of God who, in the beginning, created man in His own image, with true knowledge, holiness, and righteousness. God entered into a covenant with man upon his creation. This pre-Fall covenant (the covenant of life/works) was the outward expression in time of the Triune God’s eternal covenant.

Man lost the attributes of true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, when Adam, our Covenant Representative or Federal Head, sinned against God, by eating the forbidden fruit. The Gospel or covenant of grace that began to be revealed immediately after the Fall, is God’s “insurance clause” for salvation. By God’s grace alone those whom God converts are renewed in true knowledge, holiness, and righteousness.

Jesus Christ is the Second Person in the Trinity. He is the Word become also a man. He is God and Man united in one Divine Person forever. Thus He is the perfect picture and the perfect reality of God and man reconciled.

The Gospel is the revelation to fallen men that the whole of creation is in the process of being subdued by God for the sake of the Man Christ Jesus in His capacity as Mediator. Thus the Gospel is all about Christ. God saves sinners for the sake of His Son. And He restores His sin-tainted creation for the sake of His Son. And this redeemed and subsequently renewed creation is the place in which redeemed and renewed sinners will (after the resurrection of the dead) dwell forever with the Man Christ Jesus.

The Gospel teaches that the Triune God saves sinners by His grace alone, through faith alone, for His own glory.

Perhaps the simplicity of the Gospel is summed up in these verses: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation … For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Romans 10:9&13.

Also, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16&17.

To be saved is to not perish. To perish is to die and experience forever the tormets of hell-fire. Thus, the Gospel really is good news indeed! It truly is the grace of God.

And, perhaps the Gospel’s profundity might be summed up in the following verses: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of Grace and truth.” John 1:1-3, 14.

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